Cherrydale Baptist Church
Thursday, May 23, 2013
To love God and people above all else
Foster Care: information taken from: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/fc/
What is Fostering?
As a foster parent or 'resource parent' as more agencies are calling it, you play an important role in a child's life and have the opportunity to provide much-needed love and care. You are responsible for the temporary care and nurturing of a child who has been placed outside his or her own home due to abuse or neglect. During a time of disruption and change, you are giving a child a home, love and a family. At the same time, your role includes working with the caseworker and the child's family so that the child can return home safely, when appropriate. In many instances, a child is placed outside of his or her home for a short period of time while the birth parents or family receive the support and services needed to make it possible for the child to be reunited with them. Other children may need an alternative plan to aid them in finding a safe, loving, permanent home. In those instances many foster parents choose to become that permanent home through adoption. In Virginia, more than 90% of children in care are adopted by their foster families.
Role of Foster Parent
The role of the foster parent is to:
Becoming a Foster Parent
If you have room in your heart and home, you can make a difference in the life of a child in need by becoming a foster parent. Ideally, children should remain with their actual families whenever possible. Although foster care services offered by the Commonwealth of Virginia make every effort to keep families together, it isn't always possible. An array of prevention services may be provided to assist families in remaining intact, but if it is determined that a child cannot remain at home and enters foster care, a host of other services become available. These services are designed to promote child safety and well-being within a nurturing, family environment and are tailored to each child's unique needs.
You, as a foster parent, can make an incredible difference by providing a safe and caring home for children in need of foster care. If you have a desire to nurture a child who needs a safe place to live, if you feel called to care for children who have lived through difficult experiences, if you think it is the right time to open your heart and home to these children, consider becoming a foster parent. The certification process involves taking PRIDE courses, getting a background check, and completing a home study. All of this is done through the county and is at no cost to you.
For more information on becoming a foster, adoptive, resource or kinship parent, please contact your local department of social services or call 1-888-VDSS-2DA (1-888-837-7232).
Arlington County Department of Social Services
Valerie Cuffee, Director
2100 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22204
Alexandria Division of Human Services
Suzanne Chis, Director
2525 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22301
703/746-5800 (Hotline - Report Child Abuse & Neglect)
Fairfax County Department of Family Services
Nannette M. Bowler, Director
12011 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035
Lee and Kaari Vasquez
Both Lee and I had a desire to adopt before we were married. Our vision was to wait until later in life when we had biological children and were more financially stable. God had different plans for us!
I began feeling led to adopt through foster care. Lee wasn’t as sure. I prayed that God would change his heart if it was truly His will and he did just that! We were trained as foster parents and meanwhile God was preparing us to learn about unconditional love and sacrifice. He gave us a desire to be a part of helping families to heal.
We were certified in July 2007 and the call came in September. They asked us to take in David and his brother together for five days. We didn’t have the space and weren’t certified for two, but it was only supposed to be five days. We said yes of course and were so extremely excited and nervous. Three years later, David became our forever son!
Throughout our experiences as foster parents, God has taught us more than we could ever imagine through all of the ups and downs. We have been blessed by so many amazing children and birth families and are so grateful that they were placed in our lives. We tell everyone that we have the fastest growing extended family because we feel as though every child who passes through our door is a part of our family and their birth families are a part of ours as well. God always confirms his calling for our family by showing us how purposeful he is in the children he brings to our family.
Please know that fostering does bring heart ache, but to us, that heart ache is worth every moment we are able to show our children how much they are loved by us and most importantly, their Heavenly Father.